Literally figuratively

All patriotic Americans ought to stand up and say enough is enough. We need a law to put a stop to this literally-abuse.

… Literally? Yikes. The last time a Cat-5 hurricane made landfall in the United States was seven years ago, when Katrina slammed into New Orleans. Tuesday’s primary was eventful, but nothing as bad as all that. The word Sabato wanted was “figuratively,” not literally.

He is not alone. About the same time, a Denver TV station was reporting that a young man named Jordan Staucet “is pounding the pavement – literally – looking for a job.” So he was hammering the concrete with his fists? Not exactly. He was simply walking around handing out résumés.

“Pounding the pavement” is an idiom, a figure of speech, and normally nobody would perform a figurative act literally. If you say someone does pound the pavement literally, then you are saying – well, you know.

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